Art of all forms is most often inspired by extreme emotion, whether love, loss, joy, or fear. When I heard a past student of mine describe what he felt, and feels to this day, after participating in a war two decades ago, I was so moved that I had to express my emotions through music. This song was written about those locked in that conflict, but is relevant today. “Gone Forever and After” could be for any war; the consequences and casualties are the same.
Gone Forever and After
Lyrics by Ginny Kaul
We raised our child to do what is right,
To honor God and country.
Protect the weak and feed the poor,
To always be thankful for bounty.
In childhood, he made us proud.
There never a spirit was gent’ler,
And as a young man, he joined the force
Of liberty, so to defend her.
But then, one day, black hearted men
From far away came knocking.
With firey oaths, and blood on their hands,
That set our hearts to quakin’.
Our forces were rallied, our son left his home
And set out to pursue the aggressor.
He marched with the host on hot foreign sand
To find and defeat the oppressor.
And oh, what a tragic night befell.
Our hero became the avenger.
In his heart, he was good, but before him stood
A foe with the face of a neighbor.
For children are children, where ever they be
Who must do as their parents direct them.
And on every side, countless innocent died,
In spite of his will to protect them.
So death rained down from all around,
And when he returned, it came with him.
You can still see it there in his glassy stare,
For the children are buried within him.
Oh where is the light in my little boy’s eyes,
And where the gentle laughter
That once lit the face of the whole human race?
It’s gone, forever and after.
ABOUT GINNY KAUL. Ginny Kaul has spent her life focusing on the arts, and her career as Performing Arts Director for middle school students has fed this passion, allowing her to expand the arts into the world around her. She received training in classical music, studying voice, theory, French horn, and composition at American River College, Cal State, and Peace Music Conservatory. She has been the featured soloist in several performances in California, and has sung with a symphony orchestra and 100 voice choir. She has composed choral music,written musical theater productions, taught public speaking, lyrics, and song writing, and choreograph dances in many genres.